A thought for fellow writers: My guess is that self-publishing will become more and more common and that the stigma will continue to diminish. This is partly because commercial publishers are more and more reluctant to invest in risky books, and partly because self-publishing has become so much cheaper and easier. However knowing that a book has passed through an editorial selection process (that somebody besides the author thought it was worth publishing) is still an important way to reassure readers of quality.
Maybe what we need to do is form editorial collectives, so that a self-published author (who has paid to publish) has the imprimatur of a respected coterie of writers/editors before the book appears (instead of just hoping for such support in reviews after it is published). The collective would provide (in effect) a blurb of approval. The collective (maybe two or three writers, maybe more) would create a web page where its members' credentials (previous publications, etc.) could be consulted.
Any thoughts? Any volunteers to join me in such a project? We would read and either grant or not grant our seal of approval to new works submitted — but publishing and distribution (and the expense involved) would still be up to the author. If we didn't give our seal, the author could simply ignore us, but if we did, he/she could advertise that fact on the book cover.